Football fans rejoice! It’s that time of year again where and hope abound as teams get ready to take part in an event that has been known to change the direction of a franchise. Whether looking for that missing piece to take you to the next level or looking for the next leader to become the face of your franchise, the NFL draft can change the fortunes of a franchise for the better…or worst. And that is why millions tune in each year, to see the selections their team will make in hopes the NFL draft prospects they select will lead their team to the promise land and win them the ultimate prize. Will your team draft a Tom Brady or Jamarcus Russell? Will this year’s top NFL draft prospect be an Adrian Peterson, or a Ki-Jana Carter? Only time will tell, and this year’s event brings an extra level of excitement as the position of quarterback is front and center. Deemed as the most important position in football by many, this year’s draft class has been crowned by some as one of the strongest classes for quarterbacks since 1983, a historic class that saw six QB’s go in round one, with four becoming hall of famers. It is yet to be determined how this year’s class will shape up, but with a large number of talented college signal callers coming out this year and a list of QB-needy teams looking for the next leader of their team, it should be an exciting draft to watch. Here’s a list of the best quarterback prospects that stand above the rest as the top names in this year’s NFL draft.
Nicknamed “Flatline” by his parents, Darnold, like his nickname is calm and collected under pressure. Coming out of the University of Southern California after his sophomore year, Darnold compiled a 64.9% completion rating, approximately 7,300 yards passing and 57 touchdowns to 22 interceptions. Touted by many as the projected no. 1 pick in this month’s NFL Draft, Darnold has the ability to make all the throws and both scouts and executives alike praise his “intangibles”. Though he is the front runner to be selected first in this year’s draft, he does come with some risk, as there are concerns with his tendency to turn the ball over, whether security issues with fumbling when being hit or forced throws that result in a high rate of interceptions. Darnold also comes into the league with very unorthodox throwing motions that create an odd delivery of the ball. Even with negatives, Darnold has a huge upside that cannot be ignored and is a safe bet to go top 5 if not number one as the first quarterback and potential player off the board.
Allen is the epitome of potential over production. Allen has the look and feel of a franchise quarterback, with a 6-foot 4-inch, 240 lbs. frame, with a big strong cannon of an arm, he has the physical tools to be a force in the league. Flashing moments of brilliance with strong downfield strikes and high velocity throws into small windows, Allen has also has missed very easy throws and had his decision making questioned on more than one occasion while attending the University of Wyoming. Scouts believe that Allen maybe one of the most physically gifted qb’s in the draft with shades of Ben Roethlisberger in terms of size, strength and ability to shed would-be tacklers in the pocket, but Allen is still seen as a project, and unpolished gem that needs the right system, coach and time to maturate and learn the skills to be an NFL ready qb. Negatives aside, it’s hard to pass on potential and he has it in spades as he has the chance to go as high as the no. 1 pick as some see his skills as enough to be the top NFL draft prospect, if not, he is sure to be taken in the top half of the first round to one of the quarterback needy teams in the front end of the draft.
Rosen is considered by many to be the “blue blood” of this year’s draft class. A top recruit out of high school with an athletic pedigree. Rosen was thrust into the spotlight as a starter freshman year at UCLA and got off to an impressive start and constantly performed well through his 3-year career. Posting a completion percentage of 60.9, a total of 9,341 yards passing, with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Rosen totes an impressive set of skills with arm strength, accuracy and great footwork. The knock of Rosen has nothing to do with his talent as a passer but rather durability and personality. Rosen had a hand and shoulder injuries that have limited his limited his field productivity as well as a major concussion that kept him out of UCLA’s bowl game his junior year. Scouts are concerned that his concussion and durability issues and question his passion for the game of football. One of the more polarizing figures in the draft, Rosen’s talent is undeniable and on draft day his name will be called early despise the question marks.
What Mayfield lacks in height he makes up in heart and guts. Since transferring from Texas Tech to Oklahoma after his freshman year of college, Mayfield has been nothing short of a scoring machine, putting up video game-like numbers in his 4-year collegian career. Boasting a career completion percentage of 68.6, total passing yards of 14,320, with 129 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. Mayfield has built a reputation as a “gunslinger” for his fearless playstyle, labeling him as the ultimate competitor and leader, however, there are concerns about his attitude as he has been in the press for the wrong reasons for attitude issues and was even reprimanded once for his actions. As one of the shorter quarterbacks in the draft, his lack of ideal stature is seen as a disadvantage to playing the position by some scouts. Negatives aside, Mayfield has steadily created positive buzz since his solid performance at the combine and pro day, with many speculating he will early in the 1st round and may not even make it past the first ten picks. A proven winner with the competitive fire to match his abilities, heart and talent cannot be measure, and Mayfield is planning to prove he is ready excel at the next level.
Which hopeful will go number 1? Will we see all go in the first round of the draft this year? These questions will be answered and more on April 26th as the first round gets underway. Tune in and watch all of the drama and excitement of the NFL Draft. Find out how to watch and where to watch here.